George Floyd, 46, died under the knee of a white police officer


He had left Texas to start a new life in Minneapolis, in the northern United States. But George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American, described as a generous man who lost his job during the pandemic crisis, died face down, his neck under the knee of a white police officer.

"Everyone loved my brother"said Philonese Floyd on Tuesday, the day after the death that sparked protests in several cities and rekindled calls to end "systemic" racism in America. " VS'(was) a sweet giant ", he told CNN. " He … not (did) never hurt anyone. "

The deceased had first found work as a truck driver in Minnesota, then as a security guard in a restaurant, the Conga Latin Bistro, before confinement dealt a serious blow to business. "He made us feel safe"Luz Maria Gonzalez, a regular customer of the establishment, testified to public radio NPR. “At the end of the evening, he said: Hey Luz, I'm going to wait with you until you get in the taxi. "

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Death of George Floyd: from Minneapolis to Washington, a wave of anger against racism and police violence

"He said he wanted to touch the world"

Others spoke of George Floyd's efforts to improve his life. "I remember he said he wanted to touch the world. He wanted to make an impact on the world ”Jonathan Veal, a childhood friend, told KPRC in Houston where they went to Jack-Yates High School together. Two feet tall, George Floyd had shone in basketball and American football, and also tried hip-hop.

But as the British daily explains The Guardian, his life then took another turn. The American news agency AP explains that when he lived in Texas, George Floyd was charged with armed robbery in a burglary. It was in Houston in 2007. He was finally sentenced to five years in prison in 2009, as part of a plea deal.

After serving his sentence, and unable to find work there, he decided to leave Houston. Head to Minneapolis, where several of his childhood friends had already left and pushed him to join him. "He was looking for a new start", says Christopher Harris, one of them. “He was happy with his development. " Jonathan Veal said he last spoke to his friend in January, via text message. There is "Little things that I have to deal with for my little ones", wrote George Floyd. “My faith is coming back to where it needs to be. "

On May 25, as shown in a multi-minute video that went viral, George Floyd died after a police officer pressed his knee to his neck while on the ground in the street, unarmed and handcuffed. "Please, please, I can't breathe"we hear him say. Police suspected him of having used a counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes, told by a grocery store employee who called the emergency number 911. The Washington Post published a chronology (made from several video documents) retracing the last minutes of his life.

"He did everything he needed, and they killed me"


For Bridgett Floyd, the death of his brother as well, at the hands of the police, "Is to break the heart". "This is exactly what they did. They killed my brother. He cried out for help ", she told NBC News.

Four police officers were laid off after the death of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin, the man who kept his knee on his neck, was arrested on Friday and charged with manslaughter.

George Floyd "Was nothing less than an angel sent to earth"reacted his girlfriend, Courtney Ross, to CBS News. "And we demonized him, and we killed him", did she say. George Floyd had, according to the American media, two children. Roxie Washington, the mother of her 6-year-old daughter in Houston, described him as a devoted father. "Because he was so tall, people thought he was looking for a fight", she said, quoted by the Houston Chronicle. "But he was a loving person, and he loved his daughter. "

One of George Floyd's longtime friends, Stephen Jackson, has become an NBA star. What has not changed their friendship, assures the sportsman. "We were called Twin (twin) ", he said, visibly moved, in a video on Instagram. "He was changing his life", moving to Minnesota for work, to support his children, he said. "My boy was doing everything right, and they killed me. "

The World with AFP


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